A thought, a feeling, and a physical sensation are different manifestations of the one phenomenon in the matrix that is the human person. Unconscious and barely conscious thoughts can be traced in this body. Sometimes, listening in to the chatter in the barely conscious, I hear the whisper of unhelpful thoughts and attitudes through noticing the concomitant physical felt sense – the thought held in this body, the body held in this thought.
The other day I noticed that I think I need to help people. If I don’t help them, I fear I will fail them, and they will be dissatisfied with me. It is a subtle anxiety, a tension in the heart and the legs, like the holding of the breath.
This is often the attitude I take towards myself. When I pray or meditate, I catch myself trying to get somewhere, to improve, to make myself better. And I am frustrated that I am not better. This is stressful and unrelaxed. It is an irreligious attitude. And anyway, it’s not going to work. I am a helpless case.
As I felt into this set of sensations, I felt my belly relax and I came back into myself. Coming home to myself, I came home to the world, and to You.
After processing this I had a good day. I was able to be more present to people and I felt energised. I had the feeling of connection right into the middle of myself. I can evoke this now. It is a new feeling, another step in being present – to myself, to the other, to the moment – and more freedom from the need to make progress and move things on. I would like to cultivate this feeling of home. (That’s ‘cultivate’ as in nurture a seedling into life.)
What are the attitudes, the bodily felt-sense, I want to cultivate? They are something like this:
- You are here, God. I trust You and Your presence. You have no need of me to change.
- Whatever is happening right now is ok: this is life.
- I am alive right now: there’s nothing to wait for; nowhere to go; nothing to mend; I have arrived.
- I am enough as I am.
What attitudes would you like to cultivate?